What Equipment Needs Calibration?

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Alicia Palin

Published on 4 August 2022

Whether you’re working in food manufacturing, agriculture, or logistics you might know that equipment calibration is important, but you may not know what equipment needs calibrating. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what equipment calibration is, why it’s important to calibrate equipment, how often to calibrate equipment, and the most common types of equipment calibration.

What is Equipment Calibration?

Equipment calibration is defined as the process of fine-tuning an instrument so that it accurately measures according to its intended purpose. When equipment is properly calibrated, it can be used with confidence that the results it provides are accurate within the specified limits.

Calibration is typically done using a calibration standard that is traceable to a recognized body such as NIST. The equipment being calibrated is adjusted until the readings match those of the standard. 

Depending on the precision of the equipment, this process may need to be repeated multiple times in order to achieve the desired level of accuracy. Once calibration is complete, the equipment is marked with the date and time of calibration, as well as the individual who performed the calibration. These records are important in order to maintain traceability and ensure that the equipment remains properly calibrated over time.

What Equipment Needs Calibration? 

As equipment calibration is required across a magnitude of industries and a vast range of instruments, there are a few types that need to be calibrated regularly.

Some of the most common instrument calibration procedures include:

Pressure Equipment

Pressure equipment calibration is the process of pressure-measuring devices to ensure that they are reading pressure accurately, usually completed across gas and hydraulic devices. This is done by comparing the readings of the pressure device to a known standard over a range of values. 

Pressure calibration is essential for ensuring the accuracy of pressure readings in many industries, such as medicine, aviation, and manufacturing. Commonly calibrated equipment includes:

  • Pressure & vacuum gauges
  • Recorders & Data Loggers
  • Pressure Transmitters & Transducers

Temperature Equipment

Temperature calibration should be carried out where temperature measurement is key to the operation of a process, it is particularly important in food manufacturing where temperature control plays a pivotal role in consistent quality output.

There are many different methods of temperature calibration, but they all involve comparing the readings of a temperature sensor to a known value. In some cases, this known value is provided by a reference thermometer or temperature gauge. In other cases, it may be provided by a theoretical model. Whatever the method, it is completed in a controlled environment.

Equipment that requires regular temperature calibration includes:

  • Digital thermometers
  • Temperature controllers
  • Infrared (IR) thermometers
  • Dry block calibrators
  • Glass thermometers
  • Thermal cameras

Flow Meter Equipment

Flow meter calibration is the process of measuring and adjusting the flow of a liquid or gas. This can be done to ensure accuracy, improve efficiency, or compensate for changes in temperature or pressure. 

There are a variety of ways to calibrate flow meters, depending on the application. For example, a flow meter may be used to measure the flow rate of a gas or liquid, and then the information can be used to adjust the flow accordingly. Types of equipment that require calibration here include:

  • Laminar Flow Meters
  • Rotameters – Gas and Air
  • Thermal Mass Flowmeters
  • Turbine Meters

Electrical Test Equipment

Electrical calibration is the process of verifying the accuracy of an electrical measurement device. During electrical calibration measurements that are examined include voltage, frequency & resistance.

This can be done by comparing the readings of the device to known values, or by using a sophisticated calibration system that generates electrical signals of known values. The process of electrical calibration is important in many industries, such as electrical engineering and manufacturing, where accurate measurements are critical. Equipment that requires electrical calibration includes:

  • ​​Multimeters (hand held and multi-digit bench models)
  • Insulation and resistance testers
  • Frequency counters, frequency generators
  • Pulse counters & multifunction testers
  • Power supplies
  • Oscilloscopes, ammeters and voltmeters
  • Power analysers 
  • Decade/resistance boxes
  • Loop testers

 

The Importance Of Calibrating Tools And Equipment

Regular equipment calibration is important because inaccurate measurements can lead to everything from inefficiency to equipment failure. In many cases, equipment must be regularly calibrated in order to maintain accuracy. For example, thermometers must be calibrated frequently in order to ensure that they are reading temperature correctly. A thermometer that is even slightly off can lead to problems such as spoiled food or overheating equipment. 

As another example, pressure gauges must be calibrated in order to prevent over – or under-inflation of tires. Incorrectly inflated tires can lead to decreased fuel efficiency and increased wear and tear. Calibration is thus essential for maintaining accuracy and preventing problems associated with equipment inaccuracy.

How Often Should Equipment Be Calibrated? 

How often equipment should be calibrated depends on a number of factors, including the equipment’s specified tolerance range and how critical the equipment is to the process or application. While some equipment can tolerate greater inaccuracy, other equipment requiring tighter tolerances may need to be calibrated more frequently. 

Additionally, equipment that is used more often will generally need to be calibrated more often than equipment that is used less frequently. Generally, it is recommended that equipment be calibrated at least once per year, but more frequent calibration may be necessary in some cases.

Calibrating your tools and equipment may seem like an unnecessary hassle, but it’s actually one of the most important things you can do to ensure accuracy and precision in your measurements. Not only does calibration help you get more accurate readings, it also helps to prolong the life of your equipment. 

Most calibrations should be done on a regular basis (monthly, quarterly, or yearly depending on the type of equipment), so don’t put it off – contact us today for more information about on-site calibration and how we can help you get your tools or instruments calibrated and keep them that way.